Great Oldbury School History Walk

Great Oldbury Primary Academy & Stonehouse History Group

What an exciting term for Year 2 it has been! Our site manager Barry ‘found’ a time capsule from a boy named Wilf who used to live in an old cottage in the field that is now our forest school area. The children were learning about their school and its history but GOPA has only been open for 3 years so this time capsule couldn’t have been found at a better time. Inside, was a letter from Wilf explaining that he walked to Eastington Primary school every day and had explained that his head master had given them the task to write to the children of the future to explain what schools were like 100 years ago. Wilf wrote down a typical timetable of his day which was very different to ours in 2024. Wilf also included some photographs of his Dad, who used to work down at Pike lock, his school friends, his classroom and some old maps of the great Oldbury site, all very useful when finding out about our history.

Finding out about local history

Mrs Hancock decided to write to the local history group in Stonehouse to see if they could help us discover more about Great Oldbury and sure enough a speedy reply came back from Vicki Walker who provided more excellent articles and photographs. She also put us in touch with Steve Mills, a local historian from Eastington. Steve told us about our estate and street names and that they were named after local veterans and people that were special to the Stonehouse and Eastington community.

Steve Mills accompanies children on the walk

Not only did Steve provide us with local knowledge but he offered to talk to us about how the canals worked and about Pike and Blunder lock (where Wilf’s Dad worked!) so what better way to learn about the locks than to go and visit them! Steve kindly met us at the locks and told us about how they were made, what they were used for and how they worked. We learnt lots about the boats transporting coal to the nearby Stroud factories where they then made woollen cloth.

Year 2 children with Steve Mills, staff and helpers

Great Oldbury Primary Academy would just like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Stonehouse History group, Vicki and Steve for bringing our local history to life!